2008-11-06 / Front Page

Skidmore Confesses To Exxon Robbery

Henderson enters plea in unrelated robbery
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Two men facing charges of robbery on unrelated incidents that occurred in Fulton County last year opted to enter a plea of guilty before Judge Carol Van Horn last Monday in the midst of the jury trial selection process.

Fulton County District Attorney Travis Kendall verified that Hancock, Md., resident Nathan Lee Skidmore agreed to a guilty plea of misdemeanor one theft during the October 27 court proceedings. Skidmore had previously appeared in the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas for a trial in mid-July that resulted in a hung jury on charges of robbery, criminal conspiracy, theft, reckless endangerment and simple assault by physical menace.

In speaking with court officials last Monday, Skidmore reportedly confirmed he indeed drove to the Warfordsburg-based Exxon July 31, 2007, and took money from a cash register operated that evening by Joshua Crouse as well a drawer stored in a back office.

In spite of giving the court conflicting statements, Crouse had previously testified against Skidmore, a fellow Exxon employee. Crouse stated he had been approached by Skidmore, who wanted to "rob the store."

Crouse said the day of the holdup he was instructed by Skidmore to keep his drawer full and not drop any cash into the store's safe. Skidmore, Crouse stated, also said he would be watching the store. Hours later at approximately 9 p.m. on July 31, 2007, an individual clad in dark clothing and ski mask, wielding a silver handgun, entered the store and stole $1,711.11 in cash.

The lone individual to take the stand on behalf of the defense during the July trial was Skidmore's mother, Charla Huff. Huff provided an alibi for her her son during the robbery time frame, saying her son never left their home until 9 p.m. after she completed a 30-minute work out tape that she began promptly at 8:30 p.m.

Kendall indicated a minimum prison term of up to six months has been agreed upon in connection with Skidmore's guilty plea. Henderson Plea

Perry Henderson, formerly of the Mount Union and Philadelphia areas, also appeared in court last Monday for jury trial selection. Prior to the selection, however, Henderson chose to enter a guilty plea to one count each of felony two robbery causing bodily injury and theft. For sentencing purposes, the theft will likely merge with the robbery charge.

Original charges levied against Henderson by investigating officer Trooper John Lupey included four counts of robbery; one count each of criminal attempted murder, theft by unlawful taking, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief; and two counts each of aggravated assault, harassment and simple assault. The standard sentencing range for Henderson, who has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1990, falls between a minimum of 36 to 42 months.

In his initial report, Lupey said Henderson visited the Back Run Road, McConnellsburg, home of Alvin and Timothy Peck on July 17, 2007. Henderson, according to Lupey, threatened to kill 20-year-old Timothy Peck if he did not give him money. The two struggled over a knife, resulting in a knife wound to Peck.

While at the residence, the 38- year-old Henderson also slashed the tires on a 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra owned by Alvin Peck. Henderson fled the Ayr Township residence with $260 and was later taken into custody on a warrant in Philadelphia.

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